Spring Tech Tip 3: Customize Your Google Classroom Theme

We're counting down to the end of the school year with spring tech tips, and Spring Tech Tip 3 is to customize your Google Classroom theme! Students can get bored with Google Classroom, but changing the header to pictures of your students working in class helps keep their attention! Click through to read this tutorial.

Three. More. Weeks. We can do this. But it’s difficult to keep the students engaged here at the end. So I’m counting down to summer break with simple spring tech tips that will help you mix things up for the students but still be easy for you to implement.

So far I’ve discussed creating LearningApps, adding Poll Everywhere to your PowerPoint Presentations, typing in present mode in PowerPoint, and using Edpuzzle to teach with film clips.

This week, I want to share a crazy, simple trick that even my seniors get excited over. So here it is…

Spring Tech Tip 3: Customize your Google Classroom Theme

As useful as I’ve found Google Classroom, if it always looks the same, the students get bored with it and don’t check the feed as often as they should. So I personalize it for them by changing the pictures in the header on the theme–if you’re not already doing this, it makes all the difference.
 
We're counting down to the end of the school year with spring tech tips, and Spring Tech Tip 3 is to customize your Google Classroom theme! Students can get bored with Google Classroom, but changing the header to pictures of your students working in class helps keep their attention! Click through to read this tutorial.I take pictures of students working in class and add them. They like to check and see which pictures made the cut. Everybody wants to see themselves on the screen (even if it’s just a Chromebook screen).
 
But if you just snap a picture and upload it to the header, it will be stretched out and distorted. So there are a couple of steps you need to take before loading a picture if you want to avoid this.
 
If you are familiar with making digital collages and adjusting image sizes, these are the sizes you’ll need:
 
800 x 200 pixels or
8.3333 x 2.0833 inches
 
If you have no idea what this means, stick around for the tutorial, and be sure to download the free cheat sheets that you can print and have right in front of you the first time you give it a try.
 
You could use several programs to adjust your images, but I’m going to talk about how to do it in PowerPoint (super easy, and most of us have it) and Google Drawings (free, we all have it on Google, and it’s what I use if I’m doing it from my Chromebook).

Here’s How It Works

 

We're counting down to the end of the school year with spring tech tips, and Spring Tech Tip 3 is to customize your Google Classroom theme! Students can get bored with Google Classroom, but changing the header to pictures of your students working in class helps keep their attention! Click through to read this tutorial.

 

 
We're counting down to the end of the school year with spring tech tips, and Spring Tech Tip 3 is to customize your Google Classroom theme! Students can get bored with Google Classroom, but changing the header to pictures of your students working in class helps keep their attention! Click through to read this tutorial.
Grab the PowerPoint Cheat Sheet HERE.
We're counting down to the end of the school year with spring tech tips, and Spring Tech Tip 3 is to customize your Google Classroom theme! Students can get bored with Google Classroom, but changing the header to pictures of your students working in class helps keep their attention! Click through to read this tutorial.

We're counting down to the end of the school year with spring tech tips, and Spring Tech Tip 3 is to customize your Google Classroom theme! Students can get bored with Google Classroom, but changing the header to pictures of your students working in class helps keep their attention! Click through to read this tutorial.

Grab the Google Drawings Cheat Sheet HERE.

It’s the small things that count here at the end. If you try this, let me know how it goes. If you already do it, how does it work out for you? Leave a comment below! And be sure to check out the other simple spring tech tips in this series:

 
 
 
 
 
 

If you use YouTube video clips in your class, then you know how annoying it can be to start and stop at the right places in the video clip. No need to mess with that any longer! Spring Tech Tip 1 is all about how to set custom start and end times on YouTube videos! It couldn't be any easier, so click through to read how.
I'm back with Spring Tech Tip #2, which is all about Super Teacher Tools! This resource allows teachers to customize games for classroom use and has some integration with Google Classroom. Learn some fun ways to use Super Teacher Tools and about how to use it in this blog post!

My fourth Spring Tech Tip is all about getting started with EDpuzzle, a free app that integrates with Google Classroom! With EDpuzzle, you can shorten clips, insert questions into the clips, and track whether students actually watch the clips. Click through to learn more and get a tutorial for setting it up!
Did you know that you can type in present mode in PowerPoint? No? Well, you're in luck, because this post gives you a tutorial of how to do that! Click through to read the steps, look at graphics, AND watch a video showing you how to type in present mode in PowerPoint!
Even at the end of the school year, sometimes a lecture can't be avoided in the secondary classroom. However, you can make that lecture more interesting and engaging by using Poll Everywhere. I give a quick tutorial about how to use Poll Everywhere in this blog post.
LearningApps is a free website that teachers can use to engage their students in interactive reviews, games, and quizzes. I'm sharing more about how LearningApps works and how you can get the most of out of it in my new Spring Tech Tip series post!

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